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Dr. Thomas Carey: A Witness in the Public Sphere

As a school, St. Ambrose Academy strives to instill life-long habits of virtue and a commitment to the common good in students as they develop their personal interests, skills, and goals for the future.

In the summer of 2023, one of our alumni entered the race for his local school board in Colorado. We are pleased to share this update as a member of our school community is engaging in the world around him, seeking to apply his own talents and vision for the good of young people!

Engaging the world around them, alumni continue to have an impact across many different industries in communities across the country, far beyond Madison. Much of this impact is hidden in the quiet, ordinary moments of day-to-day life – in the family home, the classroom, the lab, the office, and so much more. But the cumulative effect with each graduating class increases, bringing the alumni into contact with others whom they can serve with the love of Christ at the heart of it all.

Scroll below to read more about Thomas’s inspiration for this new goal in his life (and if you’re interested in learning about his campaign, visit his campaign site here)!

I’m Dr. Thomas Carey, Saint Ambrose Class of ’08, and proud to be running for public office for our local school board in Colorado Springs.

The Catechism states that “Human society can be neither well-ordered nor prosperous unless it has some people invested with legitimate authority to preserve its institutions and to devote themselves as far as is necessary to work and care for the good of all.” (CCC 1897)

This journey into politics is new for me. I have long practiced Mother Teresa’s notion that if you want to change the world, the best way to do it is by loving your family. I have accordingly focused on my own responsibilities, but I have become convinced that our country will lose its way if good people do not hold their ground and fight for the future of our shared, public institutions.

A Catholic in politics needs to recognize and understand the principle of subsidiarity, meaning that problems should be resolved at the lowest level of competent authority possible. This especially applies to education, which begins in the family and is best addressed at the local level through local school boards. Since parents are the first educators of any child and are the fundamental unit of society, schools need to respect and honor the rights of parents.

Public Schools have been suffering for decades under the weight of misguided leadership and hostility to parental choice and the rights of families. Public schools across the country, particularly in the wake of learning losses during the COVID pandemic, have seen precipitously declining enrollment as parents opt-out of the system, no longer trusting institutions to do right by their children. It is time to turn the tide of poor public education.

This is a role that Saint Ambrose has prepared me well for. The faculty and staff at Saint Ambrose thoroughly understand the above quote from the Catechism and the need for good Catholics to participate in the public sphere. I learned this lesson first from Dr. Constance Nielsen, jointly teaching at Marquette at the time, who taught a class on Catholic Social Teaching where we analyzed different economic systems through the lens of Rerum Novarum and other encyclicals. Saint Ambrose took me to the March for Life and taught me civics and history alongside theology and philosophy, and trained me in formal logic and rhetoric.

Saint Ambrose is changing the lives of students and Saint Ambrose alumni are changing the world!

We pray that Thomas continues to seek the Lord and imitate His ways, as Thomas serves his family and community! Go, Guardians!